DSG senators learned about resources for reporting violations, student learning from the Associate Dean of Students

Duke student government senators discussed the shortcomings of student misconduct reporting training with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and heard an update on fossil fuel divestment at their meeting Wednesday.

Associate Dean of Students Victoria Krebs addressed the senators at OSCCS. According to the student affairs website, OSCCS is involved in “investigating and resolving alleged violations of university policy,” such as a recent hate speech incident on campus. In his role, Krebs takes reports and provides “support measures” to students.

Krebs spoke about the relationship between the Office of Institutional Justice, OSCCS, and the recently established Center for Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Intervention. While the OIE handles formal conduct investigations, GVPI provides confidential reporting and counseling, and OSCCS provides “support measures” and “applicant options,” the three offices coordinate to best help students, she explained.

When asked about reporting resources, Krebs described the differences between public incident reports, which are not anonymous, and DukeReach Care reports, which are anonymous provided students log out of their Duke account before accessing forms.

“You can submit [an incident] report a leaky faucet or harassment, anything, and it will be sent to the right place,” she said.

According to the 2021-2022 OSCCS Annual Report, there were 1,475 “fair reports” submitted to the office last year.

Junior Shreya Joshi, DSG’s vice president of campus affairs, citing concerns that residence assistants failed to cover violation reports at meetings earlier this year, asked what OSCCS was doing to provide information to first-year students. Senator Dave Surzykevich, a sophomore, asked a similar question in the context of freshmen.

In response, Krebs noted that the smaller meetings were more engaging than the large, lecture-style presentations the university has held during orientation week in the past.

“People just really want to know where their classes are and who their friends are going to be,” she said. “As much as they need this information, people are not accepting it.”

Krebs shared that OSCCS plans to start an ambassador program to raise awareness among students.

“It is planned to launch in the spring semester, and the idea is to teach many more people to be educators, cultural workers, to teach how to report, where to report, what are the policies, prevention tactics, to do programming, but not only … . . [the] 10 interns of the Women’s Center, [but] 100 people,” she told the senators.

In other matters

Senators Brian Brennan and Mick Tobin, both sophomores, announced that Duke’s Advisory Committee on Responsible Investment will hold an open forum on November 7th. The committee makes recommendations to the Duke University Management Company, the university’s investment management company.

Tobin said the DUMAC president dismissed the report produced by the fossil fuel divestment committee as too vague. The committee is working on editing a report that was produced in response to the student referendum on fossil fuel divestment.

DSG Senators contributed $15,301.37 to the Hindu Students Association’s Diwali celebration on November 11. The student body’s finance committee had recommended $12,301.37 based on expected attendance, but after hearing from event organizers and discussion, senators changed the allocation to increase the amount by $3,000.

DSG Chief of Staff Hannah Hendy, Sr. explained that the amendment is in line with DSG’s role in “supporting [student] groups in contexts in which anecdotes and cultural significance [are] more important than just numbers.”

“This year, we’re trying to be more rigorous with the distribution of funds and attendance tracking and a lot of other things,” noted junior Aditya Raj, SOFC’s vice chair for audit and policy. During the meeting, Raj also mentioned that SOFC plans to introduce stricter audits at the end of the academic year.

The senators also chartered The Flow, “a student publication dedicated to covering advances, stories, current events and voices in reproductive health,” and the Google Student Developers Club.

Sen. Ashley Bae Jr. said South Korea will hold a Halloween vigil over the tragic crowd surge. The vigil will take place on November 3 from 18:30 to 20:00 in front of the Prince’s Chapel.

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